CHURCHILL – For the last two seasons, Manhattan Christian basketball has experienced heartbreak. But once again it is a top team in the state and is poised to finally take the state crown.
“We’re glad that it’s going so well and that we are playing well together as a team. We definitely want to finish strong, though, and get that state chipper this year,” said Caidin Hill, a sophomore on the Eagles.
Going well may be an understatement for the Manhattan Christian basketball team. They are 8-0 on the season. And they have one goal that sticks in their mind.
“It’s been a good start, but I know the guys and the coaches, we’re all focused on trying to return to the state tournament. So that’s a process in itself,” said head coach Jeff Bellach.
But they have proven they are one of the top teams in Class C, taking down Melstone, another state front runner, 55-40 in December.
“Being able to play against them was great for us to play against teams of that caliber, because you don’t always get games like that, so that was pretty great,” Hill said.
This season, the Eagles on average are beating teams by nearly 35 points a game. They are normally known as an offensive juggernaut, but defense has been key this season.
“Defense wins championships they say and we just work on that every day,” junior forward Josiah Amunrud said. “When we hold people to low points, if we have a bad shooting night, we can still go out there and win the game.”
But even with the fast 8-0 start and poised to be the biggest threat at state, the Eagles cannot get complacent with their standing.
“We have to continue to focus on getting better. I think that’s important,” said Bellach. “That’s been one of our goals since day one, to get better and improve and not waste reps, value every opportunity we get to step on the floor, because those other teams are doing that, too.”